THE mum of a child with a rare chromosome disorder has praised the efforts of those who have made a ‘huge difference’ to the lives of her, and her family.
Zoe England went without hot water for one year after she suffered a broken boiler along with her husband and three children.
The family, from Fratton, couldn’t afford to get it repaired and everyday tasks became a struggle.
The Hampshire Skinhead Association (HSA) raised £1,010 towards the cost of a new boiler, which Scott Ware Gas & Plumbing Services fitted for free – as well as donating £248 towards materials.
Zoe, 36, said: ‘Words can’t express how extremely grateful we are to everyone else who has helped. This past year has been a nightmare.
‘We own our own home but my husband is in a low-paid job and I can only work part-time because I care for my nine-year-old daughter, Alyssa.
‘She has a rare chromosome disorder and gets poorly at the drop of a hat – she’s always in and out of hospital.
‘We have an electric shower, so thankfully we’ve been able to wash, but simple things like washing hands and Alyssa’s medicine syringes have been difficult.’
The HSA raised the money for the family through a fundraiser in November, held at Southsea’s Dockyard Club.
Zoe added: ‘We tried to save up but we didn’t manage – I never wanted the kids to miss out on having birthday presents, so they came first.
‘This has made a huge difference to our lives and we couldn’t be more grateful.
‘I’m sure if Alyssa could talk she’d say thank you.’
The England family contacted Scott after seeing an article in The News last year, in which he was offering free gas safety checks out to those in need.
Scott, 30 and from Havant, said: ‘I visited the family and said that if some funds were raised somehow, I’d be able to install a new boiler for free.
‘It makes you feel good to give something back to people and that’s what we as a business are going to carry on doing.’
The HSA worked for months to plan the fundraiser. Keith Thripp, who co-runs the group, had his bottom tattooed to raise funds to pay for the event’s star guests.
He said: ‘I found out about the England family’s situation from one of the members of our group, who works with Colin, Alyssa’s dad.
‘The idea to help them was put to our association committee and we all agreed we should.
‘It’s always nice to take, but it’s better to give something back.’